Thursday, December 11, 2008

Creating something new - the Custom Order

I have a new customer who likes a couple of my items but wants some modifications. I love custom orders. They let me get out of my box and do something different. They make me think about ways to do things and styles that I maybe normally wouldn't think of.

This request was for a purse and a wallet. I'm going to start today with the wallet because it's something that I had on my agenda for about three or four months and I just hadn't take time to play around with.

I currently make a full-size women's wallet, that is a tri-fold, with a velcro closure on the flap, and has places inside for bills, coins (zippered pocket), id pocket, flap with places for five credit cards and an additional pocket behind, and a checkbook and register area.

I personally haven't carried my checkbook anywhere is years. So I kept saying I was going to make one that eliminated the checkbook area, and added more places for credit cards - or other cards - you know we all have a collection of them.

And that's exactly what she was looking for. So I worked with my current design and adjusted it for the new one. Here's what it's going to look like!

There are just a couple of small modifications to the wallet, which I'm going to work on this evening, although I think this one is perfectly 'saleable' , and then I'll be ready when the fabric she selected arrives.

The purse request is a combination of styles, and I may get started on that this evening also. I'll make a demo of it (which I will probably get to keep and use myself) and then I will be ready to go with it.

Thanks to my customer for giving me the opportunity to try some new things!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Just a short post today.



Thanks and happy shopping!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Since my last post, I think I've had quite a few accomplishments that I want to share. I was working on the new etsy banner and avatar, and those have been in place since then. I don't know that they made that much difference, but I think they look cleaner, if nothing else!

I also broke down and bought a light kit for taking my pictures, and I've messed around with the settings on the camera in order to make my pictures a little cleaner. I'm not sure if the pictures are that much different. Maybe you can tell me!

Can you tell the difference between these two? One was taken on my white table and the other in the lightbox.

Maybe you can tell.....

So, I haven't retaken too many pictures yet, but I've been using it for my new pictures. We'll see if it really makes a difference.

What else did I do? Oh yes, I finally finished my great nephew's quilt in time for his 4th bbirthday - I started it last year and told my niece I would have it done for his 3rd birthday (oops!). I did have the roman shades done last year for both his and his sister's rooms (they have since moved, and the shades, of course, don't fit the windows in the new house, so I'll get to do something for them again!). But I was very excited to get it done - he seemed to like it ok, but the better part was when we put it on his bed, and his little sister looks at me and shrugs her shoulders, like she was saying 'Aunt Susan, where's mine????'. So I guess I'll start one for her, and maybe I'll have it done by the time she is four! Sorry - believe it or not, I didn't take any pictures of this - shame on me!

I also worked on a new design for a clutch type bag. I have this one on my etsy site. I love this fabric for a holiday clutch - I thought it was black, red and silver, but it is actually dark green - so even more 'christmas-y'. I have more of this fabric, so I may try another design for the evening bag type....

This past weekend, I had a craft show - it was one that I've done the past couple of years. With the economy being as it is, I wasn't sure how it would go, but I was pretty pleased, overall. I sold almost as much $ as last year, so that was great! I also had several repeat customers, and one in particular said she came specifically to purchase from me. Boy, that makes you feel good!

I have a show next Saturday - it's not one I've done before or even been to as a shopper, but several people have told me they think it's a pretty good show - so here's hoping!

Wish me luck!

Until next time!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trying to grow my business

Today I am working on updating my Etsy avatar and banner. I'm trying to start to grow the business. I'm just not sure exactly where to start! I also created the 'online' ad size graphic, so I will look for ways to use that.

I need to get some better photos - I guess I'll breakdown and get or make a lightbox, so that I can get some consistent look to my photos. I also am looking at updating my regular website to start to match it up to the 'look' I am going for.

I think since my name contains the word 'simple' that's how I'm going to keep it - simple. Lots of the ads are rally slick, but I want mine to be simple.

My Etsy sales so far this month (October) have been lackluster. I really haven't had time to promote on Etsy, or anywhere else for that matter. So, I'm not sure I'll end up with an increase in month-to-month from September, unless I really get with it the next two weeks.

I have four craft show / events left this year - I'm hopeful that I will do ok at them. And I'm already starting to evaluate what I want to do in 2009.

It must be time to write a real business plan.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Day of the month

It's been a busy month I guess!

My etsy sales were up a little over last month (yes, today is still this month, so there's a chance for more sales!). I had one show which ended up not being so great - it was a 2 day show which I did excellent at last year, but it rained ALL DAY on Saturday, and when I went back to the room to check out Sunday's forcast, they were calling for the winds of Ike to hit. So I decided to forgo Sunday. And while it may have been ok in the morning, I'm pretty sure it was horrible in the afternoon - and the drive home would have been awful. So I'm glad that I didn't stay.

I'm finally going to finish my great-nephew's quilt that I started more than a year ago. I actually quilted it this weekend, so I just have to trim it down and bind it. That's easy! His fourth birthday is in October, and I'm only getting it done a year later than I said I would!

Today I made some small items and listed them on Etsy. The cell phone case and double zippered case that I'm adding here are a couple of those items.

I'm off to a conference on Sunday for four days, so I hope to get quite a bit done before I leave. Then the next weekend, I have another show on Sunday. I hope it is successful. One never knows!

Thanks for stopping by to say hi!

Talk to you again sometime (I'd say soon, but it would probably be a lie!)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's a new month - where does the time go?

So, it's been more than 2 weeks since I updated last. I'm pretty sure no one knows this is here - would they read it if I updated more often?

I finally finished the chair covers that I had the picture of in the list entry. Laura called today and said they looked great in the customer's house - so that's good! I continued on in the cushion making business - I have a set of 6 cushions for a rattan sofa for my mother-in-law. I have them done except for stuffing them - I have to order the foam, and I have 4 small chair cushions to do also, so once I have the pattern for those ready, I will make a trip to the foam place and order it all. I'm a little worn out on the cushions right now! But I know there will be more in the future!

We took a long weekend over Labor day and got away - the weather was beatiful, but coming back to the grind is - well - yucky. That's just the best word I can come up with.

Lots of work to do, so I'm headed up to the sewing room now, and I'll put some pictures of what I'm working on in the next entry.

Getting ready for a show the 13-14th of this month....

Talk to you again soon!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Catchin' up with myself

So much for blogging once a week - more like every other week! Well, it has been busy. My a/c went on the fritz - problems for 5 days before I ended up getting a new one - yikes! That wasn't in the budget, as you can imagine.

During that time, I was working on chair covers. There are eight of them. I have the sewing all done, but ended up getting the foam from the foam place, custom cut (it's got those funky corners on the back where the back attaches to the seat), so I won't get them finished until early next week. These aren't for me, by the way...I sew for an interior decorator, and these are for one of her customers.

I also attended my high school class reunion. We won't talk about what year it was for. Then my Mom's birthday was the day after that, so we went to visit with her. I was exhausted on Monday!

And then the Olympics are going on. So I have to stay up late and watch some of that. Last night I just couldn't stay up - I fell asleep on the couch. I'm not sure what I missed, but I guess I didn't die from missing it, so that's ok.

I have a 2 day show this weekend. It's one I've done for the past two years, and it's been pretty successful for me, so I'm hoping this weekend will be good too. I feel like I don't have that much new stuff - but I lose track when I have a full month or more between shows. I do have some new items that I'm working on. Kind of a cross between a cell phone case, a wallet and a change purse. I have several variations that I'm working on, but I think I've narrowed it down to two. So I'll test that out this weekend, and see what the response is.

I also had feedback from one of my etsy customers who purchased a cell phone case from me. She likes the case, but when she sits down with the case attached to her belt loop, her phone has slipped out a couple of times. So I'm testing a new addition to my cell phone cases - I'll keep you apprised of how that goes.

I think that's about it for now. Hope to get back before the end of the month - but I don't make any promises!

Have a great day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

My First Blog Post

So today is my very first blog post. I'll be really honest, I'm not too much into this kind of thing. But I've joined the Etsy community for selling my items (check out my etsy website at and blogging is one of the things that everyone recommends doing to increase sales.

So here I am, trying it out.

I've been working on cleaning and re-arranging my sewing room this week, so I've literally done no sewing since Monday, I think. The cleaning part was good. I quess I'll see how the re-arranging works out. I'm excited to try it out - there are probably a couple of changes that I'm not sure I will like - I think my ironing board is too far from my sewing machine now. Of course, maybe that means I'll get a little more exercise!

I hope you will look at my etsy site, and find something that you like!